Medical supply carts come in a variety of forms to meet different needs within a healthcare environment. The hospital administrators depending on the kind of care his or her facility offers, will ultimately determine the products and equipment the carts carry.

A facility does not have to be limited to a specific type of cart. It may be prudent to invest in several different types and stock each to address different requirements, such as pediatric or point-of-care supplies.

Cart Overview

Medical carts are big business today. The mobile cart industry has come a long way since the old wooden carts on wheels before the 1960s.

You can purchase carts made from stainless steel, polymers, or a mixture of steel and plastic.

Carts come with cabinets, drawers, adjustable equipment arms, germ-resistant coatings, and integrated power sources.

You can purchase new and refurbished carts, as well as an assortment of devices to secure the carts and a variety of peripherals to augment the basic cart design.

Planning and Positioning

Large hospitals require careful planning and positioning of not only the carts but also the supplies used. Each ward may require different supplies to support the ward’s primary function.

Most facilities will likely need a minimum number of carts with batteries given the proliferation and use of computers throughout any medical facility today.

Supervisors must also determine locations to secure the carts when not in use.

Required Accessories

Medical centers need specific add-ons to the carts to support the equipment used on a medical supply cart.

Most hospitals need accessories like document holders, mouse pads, keyboard lights, chart holders, and perhaps a table extension.

Power

Carts with power form a significant subgroup among mobile cart lines.

Computers are essential equipment at any facility. The ability to move a computer from patient to patient or room to room is a lot easier when using a cart.

At Scott-Clark Medical, we offer integrated batteries to power PCs used on mobile medical carts.

New Lithium Ion batteries provide up to 12 hours of power. Although Anton Bauer has gone out of business, companies like Scott-Clark Medical can resupply businesses with comparable batteries.

Hot swap batteries are another charging option. With hot-swaps on a cart, a doctor or nurse never need to worry about losing power at a critical moment.

Many carts have built-in indicators connected to the batteries. When the indicator shows the power is low, the operator can simply flip a switch and start using a second integrated battery.

Medicine Carts

Mobile drug or medicine carts contain a necessary inventory of common drugs used in a hospital environment.

Hospitals that use medicine carts will need key locks, proximity locks, or some other type of security mechanism to control access.

Some of the common drugs kept on medicine carts include epi-pens, atropine sulfate, aspirin, amiodarone, Benadryl, cardiazem, and pronestyl.

Medicine Cart Customization

Depending on usage, a medicine cart may have many other types of drugs. Medicine carts used in children’s hospitals will have a supply of commonly used pediatric drugs. Heart centers may have different cardiac drugs, cancer centers, other specialty drugs, and pain centers other medicines.

In addition to checking the expiration date of the medicines, staff should test the locking mechanisms, whether it is lockable doors and keyed or keyless entry or another type of high security lock.

General Supplies

Medical supply carts in most healthcare centers have a “basic load” of general medical equipment that a nurse or doctor commonly uses.

This basic load may include surgical masks and other protective supplies, antiseptic materials, blood pressure cuffs, tongue depressors, or any frequently used piece of equipment.

Additional supplies for most hospital carts include:

  • IV start packs
  • IV tubing
  • McGill forceps (various sizes)
  • Syringes
  • Reusable oxygen masks
  • Alcohol preps

Always have a checklist available so personnel can inspect the cart and resupply it regularly.

Lisa is a professional writer who enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. She has degrees in English and Secondary Education and has been writing professionally in the medical niche for the last three years, including pieces on dentistry and health and fitness. Her interest in the medical field began with her mother’s job as a dental nurse, and she has continued to nurture her interest in learning extensively about the diagnosis and treatment of a range of conditions.
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